GOLIAD – Brooke Yanta knows Goliad has gotten as much out of its non-district schedule as any other team in the area.

The Tigerettes have played against some of the top teams in the state – including Class 5A Gregory-Portland, Flour Bluff and Caldwell.

“Those games against Gregory-Portland and Flour Bluff were tough,” Yanta said. “But it’s only going to prepare us for when we get to the bigger games.”

Goliad continued its vigorous pre-district schedule against Hallettsville on Tuesday night at the District Event Center.

The Lady Brahmas, who began the night ranked No. 24 in the Texas Girls Association volleyball poll, showed off their early success but it was the Tigerettes who proved victorious in a 25-13, 23-25, 25-21, 25-14 win.

“This is a possible playoff contender for us,” said Goliad coach Jess Odem. “We may meet them in the playoffs, so we needed to see what we can do against teams on our level.”

Goliad, which has reached the UIL Class 3A state tournament each of the last three years and won in 2016 and 2017, is ranked No. 8 in the TGCA poll.

The Tigerettes will play one more non-district game against La Grange before opening District 29-3A play against Taft Sept. 10.

“We want to go in and work on everything we do,” said Yanta, who finished with 10 kills and 2 digs. “We want to work on blocking and hitting our spots the best we can.”

Goliad (14-9) was led by Ashlyn Davis, who tallied a game-high 17 kills.

Karleigh Hill, Brook Jackson and Mollee Henicke also combined for 13 kills for the Tigerettes. Mollee Henicke finished with 31 assists.

The Lady Brahmas (19-7) were led by Addison Belicek and Kenna Kubenka, who finished with 10 kills each.

Emily Drummond and Kayla Starns combined for 16 kills, while Kenzi Lange totaled 30 assists.

“Goliad was competitive and we need to face more teams like them,” said Hallettsville first-year coach Lindsay Hudson. “We’ve been playing well this preseason, but it was a tough loss. Everything is going to prepare us for the future.”

Hallettsville jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set, but the Tigerettes answered with a 5-0 run to take their first lead. The Lady Brahmas rallied to win the set and again late in the third set before Karleigh Hill secured the win for Goliad.

“I want to make sure we’re getting better each game,” Odem said. “I know these girls aren’t going to be perfect, but I hope each girl gets better each time they step on the court.”

The Lady Brahmas also play one more game against Boling before opening District 28-3A play against Industrial.

“We have to get back to the basics,” Hudson said. “Blocks, serves and not letting off the gas pedal. Sometimes we get comfortable, but we have to stay hungry.”

Goliad 3, Hallettsville 1

Goliad 25 23 25 25

Hallettsville 13 25 21 14

Highlights: (G) Karli Buenger 1 aces, 1 kill, 8 assists, 7 digs; Karleigh Hill 1 ace, 6 kills, 11 digs, 5 blocks; Ashlyn Davis 2 aces, 17 kills, 11 digs; Julia Morris 1 ace, 17 digs; Madi Reitz 1 ace, 1 digs; Brook Jackson 6 kills, 1 block; Abby Yanta 1 kill, 2 digs, 1 block; Brooke Yanta 10 kills, 2 digs; Mollee Henicke 4 kills, 31 assists, 17 digs, 2 blocks. (H) Addison Belicek 2 aces, 10 kills, 2 digs; Courtney Woytek 1 kill, 2 digs; Emily Drummond 9 kills; Emma Grahmann 6 digs; Kadie Zachary 2 digs; Kayla Starns 7 kills; Kenna Kubenka 10 kills; Kenzi Lange 3 aces, 1 kill, 3 digs, 30 assists; Kylee Starns 7 digs. Records: Goliad 14-9; Hallettsville 19-7.

Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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